Saturday, December 24, 2011

IT CAME UPON A MIDNIGHT CLEAR




On Christmas Eve in 1849, Dr. Edmund Sears shared a poem that he wrote titled "It came upon a midnight clear" with his congregation.
The poem was written out of time spent with God. Dr. Sears was desperately seeking words inspired by God that would ignite a fire in their hearts to serve the least of these in their community. His personal passion to reach the least of these caused him to spend much time in the slums sharing the unconditional and saving love of Jesus Christ.
A poem penned out of a desperate cry to God has become a song that is dear to our hearts in the truth that the words convey:
Peace on Earth, good will to men from Heaven's Gracious King

Luke 2:9-14
And an angel of the Lord suddenly stood before them, and the glory of the Lord shone around them; and they were terribly frightened. And the angel said to them, "Do not be afraid, for behold, I bring you good news of great joy which shall be for all the people; for today in the city of David there has been born for you a Savior, who is Christ the Lord. And this will be a sign for you; you will find a baby wrapped in cloths, and lying in a manger. And suddenly there appeared with the angel a multitude of the heavenly host praising God and saying, "Glory to God in the highest, And on earth peace among men with whom He is pleased."

May the truth of God's Word resonate in our hearts. May we live our lives in such a way that all men are drawn into a saving knowledge and relationship with Jesus Christ. May we be bold to speak these words of truth.

Merry Christmas!!!!! :)


Thursday, December 22, 2011

You could be that someone!!!! :)

This Christmas there are children who don't know what it is like to experience the love of a family.

The very depth of this need can be overwhelming if we don't focus on the "one thing" that God is calling us to do to speak out on their behalf.
I want to encourage you to ask God what is the "one thing" that you can do to make a difference in the life of a child who needs someone to advocate for them.

You could be that someone that God uses to change the life of a child. I can hear the struggle going on in your heart and mind as you read those words.

Those words that say:

"What? Who am I that I could have an impact in someone's life?"
"No way, I barely have time to do the things that I do."


I can hear those words, because I have heard those same words echo in my heart and mind as God has put a challenge before me. I know that God is faithful and God will equip you in the task that He puts before you. :)


James 1:22
But don't just listen to God's Word. You must do what it says. Otherwise, you are only fooling yourself.


*****The pictures above are of children who are currently waiting for a family here in Colorado.


You can find out more about waiting children in Colorado at:

The Adoption Exchange:

http://tae.convio.net/site/PageServer?pagename=adoption_gallery

Project 1.27:
http://project127.com/

Wednesday, December 21, 2011

A Home for the Holidays!!!

Don't miss this tonight!! :)

‘A Home for the Holidays’ television special

“A Home for the Holidays” is a powerful CBS special. It shares stories of foster care adoption and features performances from some of America’s most popular musical artists. We have been a proud partner and participant since 1999, along with Children’s Action Network and Triage Productions. The program is generously sponsored by Wendy’s.

This heartwarming holiday special will air at 8 p.m. ET on CBS on Wednesday, December 21, 2011, featuring all-star talent. See the joy of having a family through the eyes of a child — not just for the holidays, but forever.

This year’s talent includes Justin Bieber, Mary J. Blige, Gavin DeGraw, Martina McBride, OneRepublic and Christina Perri. Presenters are Katherine Heigl, her Sister Meg Heigl-Beltran, Denise Richards and Jillian Michaels.

Give the gift of family. Text the word HOME to 50555 to make a $10 donation to DTFA. Standard text and data rates may apply. Follow our live Twitter chat (@DTFA) during the show using #ahomefortheholidays.


Steven Curtis Chapman - All I Really Want

Wednesday, December 7, 2011

Wait No More by Kelly and John Rosati


I recently received a copy of Wait No More written by Kelly and John Rosati compliments of Focus on the Family. Kelly Rosati is the Vice President of Community Outreach at Focus on the Family.

Before moving to Colorado the Rosati family lived in Hawaii where God opened their hearts to foster care and adoption. Their foster to adoption journey was not easy. Wait No More is an honest reflection of the challenges that they faced. If you are a foster/adoptive parent you will see your thoughts and feelings reflected in their story. You will see yourself reflected because no matter who you are, if God calls you to journey with Him in obedience in this thing called foster care and/or adoption we all will face the same challenges personally and spiritually.

What comes shining through is God's faithfulness to sustain and lead us on this journey. God sustains us through the truth of His word, the faithfulness of friends who commit to be present with us and to cover us in prayer. The Rosati's story reflects the need to build a support network around you and your family.

Support comes in a lot of different ways! Make sure you don't miss the branches of support that are extended right in front of you. :)

A couple excerpts from Wait No More:

I'll never forget when the pastor described to me that going through the adoption process was like "pouring Miracle-Gro on your sin." I laughed out loud. It's so true. So much of this process is about God changing and growing us - the parents - to be more like Christ. It's painful sometimes, but the heart of the Christian Life is to be transformed and become more like Christ.

If every Christian family in the United States would simply commit to pray and ask God if He wants to use them to bless a child without a family, well, we'd change the world. If we can get the church to think about adoption not in the terms of the desires of adults but in terms of the needs of children, I think we'd see on a much grander scale how God sets the lonely in families.





Monday, December 5, 2011

FHF - Surviving and Thriving Healthy Families Event

Finally Home Foundation launched in Colorado this past weekend. 23 families were supported and encouraged in their journey of foster care and adoption. There is nothing like sitting across the table from someone who can relate to your every day struggles in parenting children who have been hurt. The relief was evident in the shared stories, laughter and a few tears.

61 kids were cared for by our amazing volunteers who dedicated their time to "Make their Day".

The statements below are powerful!!! These were given by parents who attended the event this past weekend.

"It was great just to be able to talk with other parents with kids with problems just to know you're not alone!"

The topic found most beneficial was:
* The need to focus on our marriage.
* The practice on listening to our our spouse.
* The adult relationship piece because the couple has to be the strongest link in the family for the kids to be healthy.
Add Video

This event filled up quickly! Finally Home Foundation is planning to offer another Surviving and Thriving Family Wellness Event the end of February 2012 in Northern Colorado.

http://www.finallyhomefoundation.net/




Perspectives Promo - Igniting Missional Living

world christian movement logo

*Perspectives is the most significant tool for any church to mobilize people to live missionally.

*Perspectives is not just for missionaries or for those who feel drawn to missions. We are all called to the Great Commission on some level.

*Perspectives is not just about world missions - it is also an urban missions class.


A 15 week commitment can seem a little intimidating in our already busy lives. When God calls us into a deeper relationship and knowledge of Him - who He is - what He cares about, it often requires a commitment and sacrifice of our time. I always approach these opportunities with a mixture of excitement and fear. Excitement to learn more, to hear more and to grow. And fear because God holds us accountable for what we know and how we respond to that knowledge. Ignorance is not bliss when it comes to knowing God's Heart!

Perspectives Class will start on Monday, January 16th at Timberline Church, 6-9pm.

Romans 8:28
And we know that God causes all things to work together for good to those who love God, to those who are called according to His purpose.

God will equip and lead us. :)

You can register today at:

For more information contact:
Glenn Gilbert - glenn.perspectives@gmail.com
Stan Myers -samyers7@gmail.com



Thursday, December 1, 2011

U Count - Dedication of Project Rescue Home of Hope Center

Barasat

From the moment you walked through the gate, the air was filled with giggles, laughter, joy and excitement. After four years of fundraising efforts, the day finally arrived for the opening of the Project Rescue Home of Hope Center and Sarah Elizabeth Girl's Home.

The center is surrounded by a lush tropical landscape. Flowers, palm trees and shrubs abound, giving it an oasis type feel. Each building has four apartments, each apartment has four spacious bedrooms, and each bedroom will house four-giving capacity for 64 women and 64 girls. All apartments have their own bathrooms and balconies for drying clothes. Solar panels and an elaborate filter system to recycle rainwater help to make the facility energy efficient.

During the program, there were few dry eyes as former victims of sexual exploitation, ages 3 and above, danced in joy, praise and freedom. As bicycles were presented amidst shrieks of joy, I was overwhelmed with the sense that, at this beautiful place, children whose harsh realities in the brothels had deprived them of a childhood, now have the opportunity to be a child once more.

To Timberline Church and all who gave to this wonderful cause - thank you. Through the opportunities now available, you have given these women and girls priceless treasures - safety, identity, dignity and self-respect.


Bonnie



This is what happens when you follow through with something that God puts on your heart. If Bonnie had never responded with obedience to an idea that God placed in her heart and mind, we at Timberline Church would not have been part of watching lives transformed by the grace and mercy of Jesus Christ in these womens' and childrens' lives. Thank you to our U Count team for your hard work and perseverance. :)


You can have an impact in the lives of these women by purchasing items that they have made. Shipping is free in the Continental US.

http://www.ucountcampaign.org/ucountcampaign_rev005/shop/


Wednesday, November 30, 2011

ALL I WANT FOR CHRISTMAS - IS A FAMILY!!!!

Oh my goodness - These siblings are absolutely precious. They are waiting for YOU!!

Okay, no pressure really. Please pray for Delfino (5 years old), Serenity (4 years old) and Jacob (almost 2) as they wait!!! Share their information with your family and friends. You just might be the connection they need to finding their family. :)

Here is a brief profile that their case worker wrote about them:

Meet this wonderful sibling group! There is Delfino, who is the big brother; Serenity, the middle child; and Jacob, the youngest. Delfino has tons of energy. He has made a lot of progress since coming into care. Playing with other kids and trusting adults are two things he has been learning. Talkative and curious, Delfino needs reinforcement from parental figures and would be very happy to have two parents who love him. This little guy loves to eat spicy foods. Serenityis also progressing well. She can be very charming and follows directions with ease. Active and talkative, this lass loves her baby dolls and giving hugs. Jacob, youngest of the group, is an appealing, active child. He is happy being held and wants plenty of attention. Jacob needs patient and structured parents who can help him reach his potential. He is a very curious and strong-willed toddler.

You can contact the Adoption Exchange for more information. 303-755-4756

Their case numbers are:
9745, 9746, 9747

Wednesday, November 23, 2011

Thankful for where God has led us this year!!

Thankful-banner-front-126

I am Thankful!!!

God has allowed Welcome Child and Timberline Church to be a part of something we could never imagine. In fact it is not something we would have went looking for.
When we met with Children's Hopechest, we asked to be partnered with a pastor on the ground in Haiti that was ministering to orphans.

Our intent was to come alongside what God was calling him and his community to do in Haiti. As we began to take teams to this orphanage on a regular basis we began to notice inconsistencies in the food that we were having delivered, the items that were donated disappeared, we began to see signs of abuse and the children began opening up to us and other organizations that were at the orphanage frequently. We began documenting these things, not realizing that God was going to use this documentation to set these kids free from the situation that they were in.

The spiritual warfare that we have experienced personally and as a team has been unlike anything any of us has ever experienced. While we didn't go looking to be partnered with an orphanage such as this, we are so thankful that God led us there. We have learned more about God's heart for justice - we have learned more about God's power and authority - we have learned that the power of prayer is POWERFUL INDEED!!! Not for just those that were directly involved, but to call others to join in the battle through prayer and fasting.

We have seen multiple miracles and mountains moved in the last few months:

- organizations working diligently together to be one voice for these children.
- meetings that we were told would never happen:
* with judges and magistrates
* direct contact with President and First Lady Martelly
- favor for our teams as they took each step in obedience here in the US and in Haiti
- closing of Son of God Orphanage
- new person placed in position at the head of IBESR
- our teams connecting with these kids in their new homes.

One of the most precious miracles is the extention of Katia's story. After we shared with the panel of organizations about Katia's serious risk of dying in the care of those at Son of God Orphanage, she disappeared the next day (see post on November 3). We were heart broken. After a diligent search by authorities in Haiti we were told to presume that Katia had died. It was devestating to all who had heard Katia's story. Her life made God's word come alive in people's hearts. Their hearts rose in justice to advocate for children who are at risk like Katia.

Two weeks ago we heard that Katia and another missing little girl from Son of God had been found and brought into care. They are both at the girls home in Port au Prince with all of the other girls from Son of God. I cannot even describe how precious it was to me to pick up and love on this little girl that I thought had died and had mourned for.

She is happy - she has gained weight - she is smiling - she is laughing and I heard her talk for the first time. She has always been so sick that I have never heard her say anything. I saw her taking care of the little ones. Katia's life is a MIRACLE! Not only did God sustain her through the time that she was missing and on her own - she flourished. Is it possible that God was with her the whole time and that his angels were loving and feeding her? I believe it is!!!

You can tell by the pictures below that Katia is doing exceedingly well. When Tiffany and I were in Haiti a few weeks ago, Tiffany taught the kids how to sign I love you and touch your signed fingers together. After scooping Katia up in my arms I signed "I love you" to her and her face lite up in rememberence. She quickly signed I love you and reached her signed hand to touch mine.



Dear God - Thank you for allowing us to share in this amazing journey for these children. We are grateful that you have allowed our heart to feel a portion of your heart's cry for children just like Katia. You oh God - cry out for justice and mercy in such a powerful way that you call us to be your hands and feet here on this earth. We love you Lord and are thankful that you led us to advocate for these children. In your precious name we pray - Amen.

He has told you, O man, what is good; And what does the Lord require of you. But to do justice, to love kindness, and to walk humbly with your God?
Micah 6:8

As you celebrate Thanksgiving with your family - take time to Thank God for this miracle!!!

Happy Thanksgiving to all of you - May your time with family and friends be sweet!! :)

-

Thursday, November 10, 2011

Adoption Poem


ADOPTION CREED

Not flesh of my flesh,
Nor bone of my bone,
But still miraculously my own:
Never forget for a single minute -
You didn't grow under my heart,
But in it.


HAPPY ADOPTION DAY!!!

Today we celebrated 3 finalization hearings!!!

Congratulations to the Branchflower and Alverson Families! Your persistence, patience and prayers shined through in this much anticipated day. :)

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Saturday, November 5, 2011

What Can I Do?

Many of you have asked, "what can I do?".

These kids have been through so much. We saw the emotional and physical impact this situation has had on all of these kids.

What if we could raise enough money to get every single one of those kids their own bed, much needed medical care, counseling, and a new outfit? What if we could get them all school uniforms, school supplies, pay their school fees so they could feel more connected to their community?

With your help - we can!!

We have started a fund to do this very thing. It is called Katia's House. Tax deductible donations will provide these things for the kids.

Our long term goal is to open a safe house in honor of Katia. Katia's House will be a home where we can provide a safe home for children in Haiti who are rescued from crisis situations like this one.

Please consider making a donation to help these kids.

- $150 will buy a bunk bed with 2 mattresses (a bed for 2 kids)

- $90 will pay school fees for a student to go to school for a year

- $75 will provide much needed medical treatment, IV fluids, medicine, etc.

- $25 will provide a week of a well balanced meals for one child

Larger donations are needed to cover the long term costs such as education and psychological treatment.

Tax deductible donations can be mailed to:

Joy To The World Foundation, Inc.

4570 Hilton Parkway, Suite 203

Colorado Springs, CO 80907719-260-1173

Check made out to Joy to the World Foundation

Memo: Katia’s House

OR

You can donate online at:

http://is.gd/cNLxl6

- Tiffany Cherry :)

Thursday, November 3, 2011

"I Love You" - Katia's Story



The below stories were written on October 13, 2011 after Tiffany and I went to Haiti to present documents to a panel of organizations stating the need for IMMEDIATE intervention in the lives of the children living at Son of God Orphanage.

We just returned from another quick trip to the orphanage in Haiti last night. We arrived at the orphanage late Monday morning. It was obvious there were many sick kids (nothing new there). We were given permission by the directors to take some of the kids down the street to a medical clinic to have them checked out. We grabbed as many kids as we could carry and the ones that looked most desperate. We knew we needed to look for a little girl that is 5 years old and had been taken to the clinic just one month ago by one of our teams. Let me give you a little history on her story............................................

A precious 5 year girl, was in the worst condition they had ever seen. A couple of months ago she had mumps from head to toe, a month later she was in a body cast that covered her from her waist to her feet. When they found her last month she had an extremely high fever and like all of the other children – horrible skin conditions. She had lost most of her weight and she couldn’t even lift her head. After pleading with the "caretakers" of the orphanage they released her to let them take her to a local medical clinic.

The doctor at the clinic examined her and determined that she had infections that were destroying her, she was nearing death. He told them that if she doesn’t get proper care right away she will die of infections and malnutrition. He gave them a prescription and orders to give her a high protein drink and medicine 3 times a day for the next 2 weeks.

They were able to administer the medication for a few days, but they had to leave to come back to the United States. They left the medication with the "caretakers" of the orphanage and instructions, with hope but doubt that they would take care of her properly.

So it was very important for us to find her and get her checked again. We quickly found her and took her with us. While we waited in the waiting room for the Doctor, this little girl was silent and sat with her head down. Earlier before going to the clinic we had taught the kids that holding up your thumb, pointer finger and pinkie all at the same time meant, I love you! So as we were waiting, the other children with us were showing us with their little fingers and telling us in their broken English with their sweet little voices " I love you"

It was her turn to see the Doctor. I sat her in a chair and knelt down in front of her while the doctor started to take her temp and check her over. She sat still with her head down. I slowly reached out my hands for her to hold and she slowly grabbed both of my hands. At that moment she lifted her head and starred into my eyes (full of tears of course). The Doctor proceeded to tell me, she is not well......... he is very scared for her........ She needed to eat and she needed to be on a nutritional program. He wrote me a referral to send her to a place he knows of and asked me to try and get the directors at the orphanage to allow me to take her there. As I carried her out of the room, she put her three little fingers up and in the softest voice said "I love you". At that moment all the strength I had to keep it together was gone. I told her I loved her too and kissed her on the cheek. I knew the directors would not allow us to take her to the clinic. My options were limited...... Do I sneak her out and take her anyway? That is what I wanted to do but I knew the trouble I would get into for doing that.

I love you............... Had she ever heard those words before? Did she truly know what it meant to be loved? I pray that she knows we love her and we will continue to fight for her and all the kids at that orphanage!

As of today there are still no leads on what has happened with Katia. We are grieving the possibility that something happened to her. We shared her story in our meeting on Tuesday and told all of the organizations present that, "Katia is dying in their care".

- written by Tiffany Cherry, Welcome Child Global Orphan Ministry Leader

I have never seen or held someone whose life was so fragile and vulnerable. When the doctor at the clinic began to examine her, Tiffany was standing in front of her whispering words of love and encouragement and I was holding little Guerlande who would not let me out of her sight. I set Guerlande down on the bed beside Katia and got my camera out so that I could take pictures of the doctor examining Katia.

It is hard to describe the feeling of respect for life that filled the room at that moment. It was a moment of quiet awe of being in the presence of something so close to heaven. I think we all felt the presence of the Comforter right there in that room. While I positioned my camera to take a picture - a feeling of Katia's life being so fragile that it would be disrespectful washed over me and I couldn't take a picture.

Dear Sweet Katia - your gentle spirit will never be forgotten. We will keep fighting to find out where you are and fighting for the release of your friends who are at Son of God. Your pain has changed us forever. You are deeply loved.

-written by me - Kari Stewart, Welcome Child Director

It is hard to believe that almost one month has went by since this happened. God used that visit as a culmination of many visits and inquiries to open doors for the children to be removed from Son of God Orphanage. There is still much work to be done. We trust and commit the next steps that need to be taken to God.

Sweet Katia was never found and we have been told to presume that she has past away. While our hearts grieve, we know that she is healthy, whole and in the presence of her loving Heavenly Father.

Over the last year in this journey in orphan ministry I have learned that my heart truly does not belong to me. The brokenness that God allowed us to feel for these children was not a brokenness that left us hopeless or defeated. It propelled us to pray, fast, act, seek, listen and speak on their behalf. It has had a radical effect on our entire church.

He has told you, O man, what is good. And what does the Lord require of you. But to do justice, to love kindness, and to walk humbly with your God? Micah 6:8

More to follow soon on how you can help!! :)





Saturday, October 29, 2011

Stewart Family Goes to Washington DC


Our Family has been asked to be one of two families representing the State of CO for National Adoption Month - Voice for Adoption.

Our picture will be on display in Washington DC for the month of November and then will go to Senator Udall's office for 2 months before it makes its way back to CO.

Voice for Adoption makes a book of profile pictures and a brief bio on each family that is featured. The below information was taken from an interview and will appear along with our picture in the book.

The Stewart Family

“Please assure that adoptive families have the needed tools and resources.”

“Our family is a beautiful blend of nationalities,” write Jeff and Kari Stewart, parents to three biological children (Jeremiah, age 30; Sarah, age 25; Hannah, age 24), and six adopted children (Elisabeth, 17, born in China; Abigail, 15, born in Korea; Logan, 13, born in Florida; Luke, 11, born in Haiti; Jillian, 10, born in Tennessee; and Zinnia, 8, born in Hong Kong). The children were each adopted at various ages between infancy and toddlerhood.

The Stewart family bustles with activity; the children are all active with music, sports, school, and clubs. A week in the Stewart household might include Elisabeth working on college applications, Abigail running in her cross country meets, Logan practicing his drums, Luke fundraising for a Haitian orphanage, Jill practicing new recipes in the kitchen, and Zinnia playing with her friends and listening to music.

When asked what motivated them to adopt, the Stewarts reply unequivocally, “God put that desire on our hearts.” The Stewarts enjoy putting their faith into action in the way they care for each of their children’s needs. In discussing the difficulties they have faced in raising adopted children, Jeff and Kari explain, “Most children who have been placed for adoption have experienced trauma. That trauma can bring challenging behaviors into the family. The hardest part early on was educating our friends and families on these challenges and how we needed support.” Their youngest, Zinnia, has Down Syndrome, and benefits from Kari and Jeff’s extensive parenting experience.

Kari and Jeff were grateful for the Adoption Tax Credit, which allowed them to pay off expenses for their expanding family. The Stewarts are able to enjoy each other’s company on a monthly “night out” thanks to the organization Kids At Heart/Fundango, which serves foster and adoptive families. Jeff and Kari have also taken advantage of adoption support groups, where they found encouragement for the challenges they faced as adoptive parents. Clearly, this family also has much wisdom to offer others who are on the adoption journey.

Kari and Jeff Stewart would like members of Congress to know how crucial that post-adoption support is for adoptive families. They urge Congress, “Please ensure that adoptive parents have the necessary tools, resources and respite to raise a healthy, whole family.”


Thursday, October 27, 2011

Kristin Orphan and The Finally Home Band in Concert!!



Mark your calendars - Do not miss this concert!!! Kristin and her band have an amazing ability to bless and inspire you as they perform and share from their hearts. This is a great night for a date, or a family night. You will be blessed!!

:)
Sunday - November 6th - Everyday Joe's in Old Town, Fort Collins - Doors open at 6pm - Concert begins at 6:30.

Tickets are a suggested donation of $10 each (kids 10 and younger are free).


All proceeds benefit Finally Home Foundation serving families in California, Colorado and Arizona.
Finally Home Foundation serves families is a powerful way!

Through a one-day family wellness event adoptive, foster and kinship families receive the tools they need to be successful in parenting children who have experienced trauma, grief and loss in their lives. There is a realization that hits parents at an event like this - they are not alone.


Invite your friends, co-workers, family and neighbors to attend.
Tickets will be available at the Welcome Child Table this weekend. If you are not going to be at Timberline and would like to purchase tickets, please call me at 430-1568 and we can make arrangements for you to get your tickets.

The facebook event page to share in your email or facebook page is:
http://www.facebook.com/#!/event.php?eid=133801556719731

Thank you!!
:)

Wednesday, October 19, 2011

Orphan Care Weekend at Timberline Church


Welcome Child would like you to join us on Orphan Care weekend November 5th and 6th.

Our theme this year is "Going Near".


Pure and undefiled religion in the sight of our God and Father is this: to
visit orphans and widows in their distress, and to keep oneself unstained by the world.
James 1:27

Highlights:


*Leading worship in all weekend services:
Kristin Orphan and The Finally Home Band

*Orphan Ministry Information Tables in the mall area

November 6th at 11:30am
- "Going Near" Break-out sessions on: -Adoption -Foster Care -Orphan Ministry -Project 1.27 -Safe Families for Children

Timberline's Youth and Children's Ministries will be packing meals with Kids Against Hunger. Kids Blast (children's ministry) will pack meals at every service and our youth ministry will be packing meals on Sunday morning. Our goal is 17,000 meals packed! :)

Monday, October 17, 2011

Something is Wrong with Me

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Me with Wendy - He is a treasure! :)

I adore all of the kids at Son of God. They are beautiful, precious and priceless children of God. Three boys there hold a special place in my heart. As soon as we arrived last Monday - Osnel, Ronjmmy and Wendy were by my side. Osnel and Ronjmmy are happy to receive any attention I give them and will just stand by me quietly. Wendy is more persistent and will grab my hand and insist that we make eye contact and talk.

Shortly after we arrived Wendy told us, "Something is wrong with me. I am getting smaller." He indicated by pulling on his clothes that everything was too big. What do you say to that? I was speechless. I gave him a big hug and told him that I loved him.

Due to the effects of malnutrition the kids are getting smaller. The food that we provide is sufficient, it is just being misappriopriated by those who care for the kids. For those of you who sponsor these kids financially I want to assure you that we are working hard at making contacts in Haiti that will hold the adults in this situation accountable in caring for the kids. I don't know what would happen to the kids if they weren't even getting a portion of the food that we provide.

Osnel is quiet. He will just stand by me and when I turn to him or put my arm around him, he looks up into my face with the most tender, genuine smile. Osnel has a terrible fungus that is all over his scalp. He had a deep sore that was on one of his ears that was filled with pus. The pus was oozing out of the sore, down his neck and onto his chest. I so wanted to take him somewhere and clean him up, put medicine on him and just hold him. I took his face in my hands and looked him in the eyes and told him how precious he was and how much I loved him. I didn't have an interpreter with me, but by the smile that lit up his face he seemed to understand what I was saying.

I have noticed the last couple of times that we have been to Haiti that Osnel and Ronjmmy are friends. They stand side by side - watching the activity that happens around them. Ronjmmy likes to stand by me and will lightly wrap him hand around my upper arm and then lay his face against my arm. He will smile shyly at me and then turn away when I smile back.

The power of touch is amazing! We all need to be touched by someone who loves us. The power of touch brings hope and healing. The power of touch commands loneliness to flee. The power of touch allows the body to relax. I am always amazed how the little ones beg to be picked up and how quickly they fall asleep on the shoulder of an adult who is holding them so lovingly and securely.

Jesus didn't have to touch people to heal them, but he did. Even the woman who risked touching the hem of Jesus' garment knew that there was power not only flowing through Jesus, but through touch (Matthew 9:19-22).

As we were getting ready to leave the orphanage Wendy grabbed our interpreter Samuel and brought him to me. His earnest, sincere eyes grabbed my attention, he said "I am little and I can't do much to help myself, but if you adopt me my life would be better". Tiffany and I could hardly control our emotions hearing those words come out of his mouth so seriously. I picked him up and hugged him tightly and told him how much I loved him and would be praying for him. Then he looked at me and said in english "God Bless You".

Those are sweet tender words that are forever etched on my heart.

There is a song that Sara Groves sings "I saw what I saw". It speaks the words that I feel about how the children at Son of God have touched my life. Their pain has changed me.

God has allowed us to feel a portion of how His heart grieves at the acts that are committed against His children. What should our response be?

God's mandate for those who follow him is that we are to "speak up for those who cannot speak for themselves". Proverbs 31:8

That act will look different for each of us. Here are some ways that you can speak up on behalf of these kids:
*PRAY
*FAST
*Share their story with anyone who will listen - you never know who in your spere of influence has deep enough ties to Haiti that could open the door to freedom for these kids.
*Sign a petition to get CNN's attention that is linked to Tom Davis' blog post about Son of God -
http://networkedblogs.com/oxDh4

Your act of obedience will have an effect on their lives!!






Friday, September 30, 2011

This Teen Needs a Family!!!

DeAndre was born in Jan. 1996. He is in the 10th grade and is anxious to have a family to call his own. He is interested in playing the cello, mountain biking and cooking. If you would like more information about DeAndre please call The Adoption Exchange at 303-755-4756.

Some may look at DeAndre's picture and think he is almost grown and most of the parenting has already happened in his life. That is not the case. DeAndre needs someone that he can talk to when he is thinking about going to college, when he is thinking about buying a car, when he is thinking about getting married. Being a family doesn't end when they turn 18.

No matter how old we are - we all have days that we need to call home. :)

Please help spread the word about DeAndre and other children who are waiting in Colorado to be united with a family.

DeAndre's case # is 9284

Tuesday, September 27, 2011

Are you in the place God wants you to be?


If you are in the place where God wants you, in spite of the challenges you encounter, you can trust him and rest assured that he will do what you cannot do on your own.

Last week some members of our Orphan Ministry team went to Haiti. Even though we were met with a heartbreaking scenario in Orphan Ministry, there were also amazing moments of KNOWING that we were smack dab in the middle of God's will, despite what we could physically see and feel.

This week I have been encouraged by Rich Dixon's blog posts, especially the one titled "Say Hello to the Hills". You can read Rich's blog at:
http://richsride.org/blog/.

Rich's blog is not about adoption or orphan ministry. He writes about a dream that God placed in his heart and how, just now, it is being realized as he hand-cycles along the Mississippi. His blog will be an encouragement to anyone who has ever had a God-sized dream and has been totally dependent on God‘s guidance each step of the way.

Rich is encountering difficulties he didn't expect when God first gave him this vision of what he might do. But, he wouldn't want to be anywhere other than where is he is right now. In the post I mentioned, he writes about how his wife, Becky, was waiting for him at the top of a particularly steep hill. When he made it to the top, she said "
How was it?" and his response was "It was tough!” Then he smiled and said, “And I’m really glad we’re here."

I can’t think of a better way to explain our experiences in Haiti than by using the words Rich used
. It was really tough! But, we also witnessed God opening doors that had not been open before and this filled us with a sense of victory. We knew that God was present, that He knew what was going on, and that his will would be done.

Allowing God to be the master of our hearts is an incredible, humbling journey. It is not easy, comfortable or without challenge. While Becky was waiting for Rich to make it to the top of the hill, I am sure that she was praying that he would have the strength and endurance necessary for the challenge he was facing. While we were in Haiti, we knew that we had prayer warriors covering us from the moment we left DIA until we returned home. I have never been in a situation where I truly felt the covering of prayer like I did in Haiti and, for that matter, through the entire journey in Orphan Ministry. Thank you to all of you who prayed for us.

Allowing God to be the master of your heart and being smack dab in the middle of His will brings peace that cannot be found any other way.

When we commit a situation to prayer, it means we are relinquishing our desires and focusing on God's.

As you journey down the road of obedience to God’s call on your life, take time to rest in the fact that you are in the palm of His hand. Let Him perfect His will in you and in your present circumstances. :)

"Trust in the Lord with all your heart, and lean not on your own understanding; in all your ways acknowledge Him, and He shall direct your paths."
Proverbs 3:5-6

Tuesday, September 20, 2011

Healthy Meals for your Family!! :)

This Sunday, September 25th Allyson Joy, licensed dietician will be joining our Adoption/Foster Care Support Group to share ideas with us on how we can feed our families a healthier diet and stay within our budget. :)

Fall always throws our dinner time for a loop because not everyone is home at dinnertime. With kids gone for football and cross country until almost bedtime, we find ourselves eating later and a lot of the times not very healthy.


Childcare is provided for your children.
Register at this link:
http://fs8.formsite.com/timberline/Childcareenrollmentform/index.html

For more information about Welcome Child Adoption/Foster Care Support Groups contact:

Heather Alverson - timberlineheart4orphans@gmail.com

Erin Branchflower - erinbeth21@hotmail.com




Thursday, September 8, 2011

Your Children, Their Trauma

What a Great Opportunity to get this training right here in Northern Colorado.
Register Today!!! :)



The Adoption Exchange Heart - Small The Adoptive
Families Program
Empowered Adoptive Parenting Series continues…

It's A Package Deal
Your Children, Their Trauma


Fort Collins

Date:
September 27, 2011

Time: 6:00 pm - 9:00 pm

Location:
Faith Evangelical Free Church
3920 South Shields Street
Ft. Collins, CO 80526

Cost: FREE
This is a Free class offered to all adoptive families.
Register below to secure your spot.


CLICK HERE
to Register Now


Light snacks and drinks will be provided. Feel free to bring food.



It's a Package Deal
This class will address how trauma affects the developing brain in infant adoptions. We will discuss the impact of trauma on child development, attachment and sensory integration, and will review the effects of neglect and issues of institutionalization. Practical parenting solutions provided.

Due to the sensitive nature of the material being discussed, we ask that you make other arrangements for child care.

Contact Denise Leffingwell at 303-755-4756, x222 (toll free 1-800-451-5246) or by emailwith questions.


Tuesday, September 6, 2011

ORPHAN SUNDAY - less than 2 months away!!


What is Orphan Sunday?

Orphan Sunday is a day set aside for the purpose of the body of Christ activating their voices for the fatherless. It is part of a National Movement organized by Christian Alliance for Orphans.

Orphan Sunday is November 6, 2011

Organize an event in your area. Regardless of the size of the event that you plan, you will have an impact in the lives of kids in your community and around the world just by raising awareness of the need. :)

Christian Alliance for Orphans has a website dedicated to providing you with the tools you need to help your event be successful.

Orphan Sunday
One Day. One Voice. One Purpose.
11-6-11

Below is a picture of my daughter Abby and I in this year's Orphan Sunday T-Shirts. These T-shirts can be found in the resource section of the Orphan Sunday website.

Christian Alliance for Orphans is offering a webinar titled "How to engage your church on Orphan Sunday". This will be very informative for anyone who desires to know more about getting your church involved in caring for the fatherless.
Get more information about this webinar here:

"Defend the cause of the fatherless." Isaiah 1:17
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Sunday, September 4, 2011

Dress A Girl Around the World ---











is having a sewing party!!!

Saturday - October 1st
- Timberline Church in the East Auditorium
from 9am - 1pm

What to bring:

- colorful pillowcase or 1 yd. fabric (no white)
- 12x12 (or larger) scrap of fabric for a pocket
- 1/2" double fold bias tape
- 1 pr. girl panties - size 6-14 (no disney, cartoons, wording)
- portable sewing machine w/ thread and full bobbin
- scissors
- trim and buttons

- sack lunch

- A FRIEND!

Timberline - Dress A Girl has been asked to provide 100 dresses to meet a goal of 600 dresses that will go to Uganda the end of October from Northern Colorado.

What if you don't sew or are not able to attend?

You can make dresses at home or donate the necessary supplies. There is a beautiful wooden, hinged box located near the Timberline Cafe' that you can put your donations in. Make sure you mark your donation specifically for Dress A Girl before you put it in the box.

Mary has assured me that you don't need any sewing skills to make the prayer dolls (pictured above). That is probably where I should start. :)

Thank you to all of you who have been faithful to serve in this ministry. You are making a difference in the lives of girls around the world!!

For more information contact: Mary Brinkman at: nunudidit@gmail.com

Tuesday, August 30, 2011

The Heart of Anger - written by Lou Priolo

I would like you to consider being part of a new study in September by our Adoption and Foster Care Ministry Leaders of the book The Heart of Anger by Lou Priolo.

The Heart of Anger: Practical Help for the Prevention and Cure of Anger in Children  -              By: Lou Priolo

This book gives families some tools for success in dealing with the anger issues that trouble some of our children. Even though God has called us to adopt and nurture these precious children, when faced with their outbursts of anger, we often find ourselves reacting the same way they do -- with anger.

The author offers ideas on how parents can help their children recognize what triggers their angry responses and then suggests how, as parents, they can respond in ways that brings healing instead of more anger.

What triggers anger?

For our kids it could be:
* Lack of control
* Resistance to allowing someone to get close
* Fear of being rejected once again

For us, as parents, it could be:
* Our kid's reaction
* Our kids' anger
* Disappointment in ourselves for not handling the situation like we should have
* Fear that we have allowed God to lead us down a path that is bigger than what we feel we can personally handle.

What better people could we talk to about these challenges than those who have been in similar situations or are currently experiencing the same things we are?

Childcare is provided. :)

Register for childcare:
http://fs8.formsite.com/timberline/Childcareenrollmentform/index.html

For more information about this study contact:
Brandon and Heather Alverson - timberlineheart4orphans@gmail.com
Chris and Erin Branchflower - erinbeth21@hotmail.com




Friday, August 26, 2011

Foster and Adoption Support Group :)

It is such a relief to be able to connect with other families who are on this journey of foster care and adoption. They understand the challenges that you face and are willing to support you through them.

Welcome Child Adoption and Foster Care Ministry Leaders have been busy this summer planning the next several months of our adoption/foster care support groups. - The 2nd and 4th Sunday evening from 5-7 of each month is reserved just for you. One of those evening will be a time to have guest speakers and the other to set aside time to do a study together. It starts on Sept. 11 - see the link below to get your children registered for childcare.




- The 2nd Wednesday from 9-11:30 is a social time for you mom's to connect at Timberline cafe. What a great opportunity to talk with mom's who are going through some of the same joys and challenges that you are facing right now. The best news is that childcare is provided for all of these times. :)



Please register your child or children at:

http://fs8.formsite.com/timberline/Childcareenrollmentform/index.html

For more information you can contact:


Foster Care Ministry Leaders:
Chris and Erin Branchflower at
erinbeth21@hotmail.com

Adoption Ministry Leaders:
Brandon and Heather Alverson at
timberlineheart4orphans@gmail.com




Tuesday, August 23, 2011

A Backpack of My Own - Sweet Success!! :)

Thank you Timberline Church!
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Our 3rd annual "A Backpack of My Own" was a great success!!

Our Welcome Child Ministry team delivered 236 filled backpacks, 83 flash drives and 67 scientific calculators to Foster and Adoptive Families of Larimer County!!!

One of the board members asked me to convey a huge "Thank you" to you our church family for meeting this need for them. The families that they serve were so appreciative and blessed by your love and thoughtfulness in filling these backpacks. The personal notes were encouraging, not only to the kids who received them, but to the families who care for them as well.

Many times foster and adoptive families feel isolated in the journey that they are on. These filled backpacks helped them to know that someone cares about them and what God has called them to do.

Thank you to all of you who filled a backpack, your loving response to this need will touch the life of a child through-out the entire school year!! :)